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Nova Scotia, Ferry Company To Fund ‘The Cat’ Maine Terminal Upgrades

Mar 15, 2018
Troy R. Bennett / Bangor Daily News/file

PORTLAND, Maine — As much as $2 million appears to have been found to upgrade the city’s international ferry terminal, clearing a major obstacle to the 2018 return of the Portland-Nova Scotia ferry.

LUBEC, Maine - Maine's scallop fishing season is nearing its final weeks with many scallop fishing grounds still open for harvesting.

The Maine scallop season begins in December and runs until April 10 this year. The state's regulators use targeted closures to protect scallops from succumbing to overharvesting.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources says no emergency actions or closures are currently pending. The department says it's continuing to monitor the health of scallops through surveys and industry updates.

Bangor Daily News

Less than three months after telling reporters his company hoped to “revive this magnificent property,” the Australian executive hoping to buy the Saddleback Mountain reportedly told his staff reopening the ski resort is “not a primary concern” and that he mostly wanted the mountain for its immigrant visa program.

Portland NBC television affiliate WCSH released audio recordings of the alleged Sept. 11, 2017, staff meeting that it claims were leaked by former employees of the Majella Group of Brisbane, Australia.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Maine ski operators, particularly smaller ones, are enthusiastically embracing the back-to-back blizzards this month.

Even a short drought can leave some mountains struggling for the rest of the season to recoup their losses.

Only two weeks ago, parts of Maine were reporting temperatures in the upper 50s. That wasn’t making ski area operators like Bill Whitcomb at all happy. But this week’s snowstorm has put a smile on his face.

“Right now, snow in the month of March is frosting on the cake anyway, so anything you get is great,” he says.

Central Maine Power wants ratepayers to invest $200 million or more in Portland-area electricity infrastructure. But some lawmakers and the state’s utility watchdog say the company is underestimating the potential for alternatives that could be much cheaper and much better for the environment.

Michigan-based ski resort operator Boyne Resorts has reached an agreement to assume outright ownership of six ski resorts it’s operating under long-term lease agreements from Maine to Washington State.

The agreement covers Brighton Resort near Salt Lake City; Cypress Mountain in Vancouver, British Columbia; Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine; and The Summit at Snoqualmie near Seattle. Also included is the Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The deal with a subsidiary of Oz Real Estate is expected to close later this year.

Lucas Randall-Owens / For Maine Public

We all know firsthand that music can improve your mood, but it can also have real, measurable effects on brain chemistry. A Portland-based startup tech company is developing a new device that’s designed to improve mobility in people who’ve had strokes by retraining the brain to walk again, using the music of their choice.

At a coworking space in Portland, neurologic music therapist Brian Harris works with two stroke survivors. He and his team at MedRhythms are testing a device dubbed The Stride that they hope will soon revolutionize the world of music therapy.

Maine’s public advocate has sent a letter to the Public Utilities Commission urging it to order Central Maine Power not to disconnect consumers who have filed complaints over high electricity bills.

PUC spokesman Harry Lanphear says the commission will formally deliberate the request, but in the meantime, customers are protected.

“Our rules prohibit disconnection of any customer that has a pending complaint,” he says. "Therefore, none of the customers that have unresoved complaints will be disconnected."

AUBURN, Maine — An IHOP manager in Auburn is issuing a public apology after a server asked a group of black teenagers to pay upfront for their meal.

Manager Melvin Escobar told the Sun Journal newspaper that "this is the first time it happened, and that will be the last time."

The incident on Sunday came to the attention of Escobar after a young man from Monmouth posted about it on Facebook.

PATTEN, Maine — A Canadian company could develop Maine’s first large-scale mining operation in decades if a $1 million exploration project finds high-grade metal deposits.

Wolfden Resources Corp. is currently testing core samples from a deposit under Pickett Mountain in Penobscot County. The CEO of the Ontario-based company says it could be one of the highest-grade undeveloped volcanic deposits in North America.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate fell slightly in January to 3 percent.
 
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate was down from 3.1 percent for December and 3.4 percent a year ago. The department says the state's rate of unemployment has been below 4 percent for 26 consecutive months, which is the longest stretch since the current methodology was put in place in 1976.
 

Members of Maine's baby-eel fishing industry are expecting high prices for the fish this year because of a lack of the eels on the international market.

Maine's the only state in the United States with a significant fishery for baby eels, which are called elvers. The tiny, translucent eels are sold to Asian aquaculture companies to be raised to maturity for use as food. The eels sold for about $1,300 per pound last year and are already one of the most lucrative fisheries in the country on a per-pound basis.

ALEX BRANDON / AP Photo

The Department of the Interior is proposing to open nearly all of the nation’s coastline to exploratory drilling for oil and gas. The feds held an open house in Augusta Wednesday to collect public comment, which was largely in firm opposition.

DAMIAN DOVARGANES / AP Photo

The Maine Legislature Wednesday moved closer to passing a sweeping overhaul of the state's medical marijuana program. The Health and Human Services Committee (HHS) voted to advance a bill that makes it easier for Mainers to qualify as medical marijuana patients, and allows caregivers to expand while accepting tighter regulations.

smilla4 / Flickr/Creative Commons

By a vote of 8-2, the majority of lawmakers on the Legislature’s Taxation Committee is supporting a tax break for Bath Iron Works of $60 million over the next 20 years.

Under the amended bill, BIW must invest at least $200 million in the facility and keep a stable workforce of 5,500, or face a reduction in its tax credit.

“I think that lost in the discussion was the fact that $200 million is going to get invested in this community,” says state Sen. Dana Dow, a Republican from Waldoboro who supported the measure.

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